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Ignatz von Kolisch
Number of games in database: 161
Years covered: 1859 to 1885
Overall record: +95 -37 =28 (68.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Evans Gambit (23) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
 King's Gambit Accepted (8) 
    C39 C38 C37 C33
 Sicilian (8) 
    B40 B20 B23 B44
 Two Knights (5) 
    C55 C56
 French Defense (5) 
    C00 C01
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C77 C84 C78 C65 C64
 French Defense (12) 
    C01 C00 C10
 Evans Gambit (9) 
    C51 C52
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C33 C39 C36 C38 C37
 French (6) 
    C00 C10
 Petrov (6) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mandolfo vs Kolisch, 1859 0-1
   Shumov vs Kolisch, 1862 0-1
   Duke Karl / Count Casabianca vs Kolisch, 1859 0-1
   Kolisch vs Loyd, 1867 1-0
   Kolisch vs Geake, 1860 1-0
   Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 1-0
   Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 1-0
   Kolisch vs R Steel, 1861 1-0
   F Deacon vs Kolisch, 1860 0-1
   Kolisch vs E D'Andre, 1867 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Paris (1867)
   Anderssen - Kolisch (1861)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paris 1867 by suenteus po 147
   My Short Notes II (2014) by Knight13
   Blunderchecked games II by nimh

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ignatz von Kolisch
Search Google for Ignatz von Kolisch

(born Apr-06-1837, died Apr-30-1889, 52 years old) Austria

[what is this?]
Ignaz Baron von Kolisch was born in 1837 in Pressburg (now Bratislava in what is now Slovakia). For the period 1859 - 1867 he was one of the top five or six players in the World. He defeated Bernhard Horwitz (+3, =0, -1) and Thomas Wilson Barnes (+10, =0, -1) and drew with Adolf Anderssen (+5, =1, -5) in matches in 1860. The following year he played Anderssen again, narrowly losing (+3, =2, -4) and then Louis Paulsen in a match with the winner being the first player to reach 10 wins. Kolisch trailed (+1, =9, -6) at first but then got into his work and fought back to (+6, =18, -7). The match was then abandoned as drawn at that stage. In 1863 he challenged Paul Morphy but Morphy, now retired, declined to play. The Paris tournament of 1867 was not only the high point of his career it was also his last. He finished clear 1st ahead of Simon Winawer and Wilhelm Steinitz and now retired from active play. He opened a bank in Vienna in 1871 and within ten years became a very wealthy man. He continued to support chess by financing the great tournaments at Baden-Baden 1870, Vienna 1873, Paris 1878, Vienna 1882 and London 1883.

Wikipedia article: Ignatz Kolisch

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 161  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kolisch vs Centurini / Saint Bon 1-037 1859 GenoaC52 Evans Gambit
2. Anderssen vs Kolisch 1-036 1859 It LondonC51 Evans Gambit
3. Kolisch vs A Carstanjen  1-034 1859 ParisC30 King's Gambit Declined
4. Kolisch vs H P Schlemm 1-022 1859 WenenC52 Evans Gambit
5. Harrwitz vs Kolisch 0-152 1859 ?A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
6. Mandolfo vs Kolisch 0-119 1859 ParisC26 Vienna
7. Duke Karl / Count Casabianca vs Kolisch 0-136 1859 ?D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Kolisch vs Hamppe 1-028 1859 WenenC44 King's Pawn Game
9. Kolisch vs C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt 1-043 1859 GenoaC00 French Defense
10. Kolisch vs Gastein 1-019 1859 ViennaC52 Evans Gambit
11. Kolisch vs C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt  1-037 1859 GenoaB44 Sicilian
12. De Riviere vs Kolisch  0-161 1859 Paris m/1C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
13. E Jenay vs Kolisch 0-148 1859 ViennaC26 Vienna
14. J Schulten vs Kolisch 0-126 1860 Paris m/1C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
15. Kolisch vs Horwitz  0-130 1860 Manchester mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. Kolisch vs Geake 1-09 1860 CambridgeC41 Philidor Defense
17. Kolisch vs R Cremorne 1-026 1860 MatchC52 Evans Gambit
18. Kolisch vs Anderssen  0-144 1860 Paris mC51 Evans Gambit
19. Geake vs Kolisch 0-113 1860 CambridgeC50 Giuoco Piano
20. Kolisch vs Harrwitz 1-039 1860 ?C45 Scotch Game
21. Kolisch vs Maude 1-031 1860 London mC51 Evans Gambit
22. Lindehn vs Kolisch 1-031 1860 ParisC21 Center Game
23. F Deacon vs Kolisch 0-124 1860 LondonC58 Two Knights
24. Horwitz vs Kolisch 0-134 1860 Manchester m/1C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
25. Kolisch vs Horwitz 1-018 1860 ManchesterC66 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 161  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kolisch wins | Kolisch loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bio:
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: In 1860, George Webb Medley lost a match to Ignatz Kolisch (+0=2-2). Against Medley, Kolisch sometimes took two hours for three moves. After this match, there was a push to have a time limit in chess, which led to the introduction of sand glasses and clocks in chess.

happy birthday Ignatz..

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Player of the Day>

He introduced <3...Bb4> in the French Defence here in his London 1861 match against L. Paulsen: Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861 and Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Austrian master Kolisch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Desde mi perspectiva ( de simple aficionado) Ignatz Von Kolisch = Genio del ajedrez
Nov-01-12  thomastonk: His German Wikipedia page states that he did several chess columns in newspapers from Vienna in the 1850s (using the pseudonym Ideka). Does anybody know a name of such a newspaper? Thank you in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Austria - We have hitherto omitted to mention that Herr Kolisch, the winner of the Paris Tourney of 1867, has lately been created a Baron of the Austrian Empire. Not long ago he purchased a handsome villa on the Kahlenberg near Vienna, and on Sept. 14th had the honour of an unexpected visit there from the Empress and her two brothers.>

From page 15 of the January 1882 'British Chess Magazine'

Apr-17-14  zanzibar: The Sunday New York Herald of 1889-09-01 contains Kolisch's obit:

<"Absurd stories published to the effect that Kolisch was ennobled by the Emperor on account of his chess talent and that he challenged Morphy after winning the world's championship in the Paris Tourney of 1867. [...] Kolisch never challenged Morphy, nor even proposed to play a match with him, and the story regarding the challenge, as explained by Kolisch himself, simply grew out of a letter which he wrote to Morphy five years previous to the time of the Paris tournament, wherein he solicited the honor of playing a few games with the world's champion. Morphy replied that he had issued a public offer to give any one the odds of pawn and move, and be pleased to play him upon those terms. Why Kolisch, or in fact any of the other of the noted European masters, did not see fit to accept Morphy's den (?) is a mere matter of conjecture, scarely pertinent to the case, although it would be impossible to find any one who had ever played with Morphy who was not convinced that he was a class above the players of modern times">

Apr-17-14  zanzibar: The article cites his 1867 Paris game of
G Neumann vs Kolisch, 1867 as "one of his greatest efforts".

It also claims "Kolisch was the best problem solver in Europe".

Here is one of his favorite positions, an endgame study by J.G. Campbell of London, "which he delighted to show":

(White to move and draw)

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <kramputz: Stalin had a hex on Botvinnik>

And not a small one over Keres....

Apr-17-14  thomastonk: "The Chess Monthly", volume 5, 1861, page 159 wrote:

<Kolish and Morphy

In an answer to a correspondent, the editor of the <London Illustrated News> [probably the chess editor Howard Staunton] says: "We believe it is perfectly true that a wealthy foreign nobleman has offered to back Mr. Kolisch in a match against the American player, Morphy, for £500 aside, and that a challenge has been forwarded to the latter."

Such a contest would be deeply interesting, and would put Mr. Morphy's extraordinary power's more thoroughly to the test than any of his numerous encounters have yet done. Our opinion is that Mr. Morphy will win at least two thirds of the games if the match comes off.>

Volume 4 of "The Chess Monthly" appeared with

The issues of volume 5 didn't mentioned any editor, and the journal ceased during that year (possibly after the issue the quote is taken from).

Apr-17-14  thomastonk: From the "Birmingham Daily Post" of May 3, 1861.


Mr. Kolisch, an eminent metroplitan practitioner, has circulated among provincial chess-payers the following resolution, agreed to at a meeting held on the 12th of April in the St. George's Chess Club, London: -

"Mr. Kolisch having intimated to several members of the Metropolitan Chess Clubs his willingness to play a match with Mr. Paul Morphy, it was considered most advisable, in order to bring about so interesting an event, that a committee should at once be formed.

"The following gentlemen having been appointed: Lord Arthur Hay, N.Strode, Esq., Thomas J. Hampton, Esq., St. George's Club, Herr J.Löwenthal, St. James Club ; George Maude, Esq., London Chess Club; it was resolved that the above-named gentlemen be requested on behalf of the undersigned to promote and carry out the necessary arrangements for inviting Mr. Paul Morphy to play a match at chess with Herr Ignace Kolisch."

[Here follow the signatures of the distinguished London chess-players who co-operate with Mr. Kolisch in his undertaking. The list includes the names of Lord Lyttelton and Mr. Mongredien (the presidents of leading chess societies), Viscount Cremorne, Sir John Trelawny, &c.]

The comittee has already resolved upon the form and substance of a letter to be sent to Mr. Morphy, and will shortly forward it to that gentleman. In forwarding the circular, Mr. Kolisch states that he would be glad to have a preliminary skirmish with players of the Birmingham or any other chess club that will arrange for his paying them a brief visit.>

That's the entire article, where the [..] is an originbal part of that article and not an addition of mine. The first " remained unmatched.

Apr-17-14  zanzibar: RE: Kolisch vs Morphy Match (or lack thereof)

First - two corrections to my previous post.

(1) "The Sunday New York Herald of 1889-09-01 contains Kolisch's obit:" should read

<The Sunday New York Herald of 1889-09-29 contains Kolisch's obit>

The link is correct, but the date is the 29th of Sept, 1889.

(2) Next, "den (?)" should almost certainly read "défi" - i.e. challenge, from the French verb défier.

* * * * *

Thanks <thomastonk> for those information glimpses into the past. Your biographical prowess is impressive.

(Do you have professional library tools - or do you use your own indexing system? Whichever it is, it seems to work well).

I'll have more to say later, right now I'm rushing through. But note that both articles date from 1861, whereas the intro above, and most other affirmative sources, indicate the challenge dated from 1863. Curious.

Next, as for Morphy's editing responsibilities, Bill Wall offers the following:

<While in New York, Paul was offered to co-edit the Chess Monthly, edited by Daniel Fiske (1831-1904). Morphy was to provide annotated games.>

This makes sense to me, that Morphy's role would be limited, involve his expertise, and really only require him to forward copy to an address.

Apr-18-14  thomastonk: <zanzibar: Do you have professional library tools - or do you use your own indexing system?> I'm very much old-fashioned with my archive: folders, subfolders, lists etc.

<Whichever it is, it seems to work well> The sources I quoted have no relation to my archive. When I read your quote from the NY Herald, I remembered that there is something in "The Chess Monthly" and I found it. Thereafter I did an online research and found the "Birmingham Daily Post". That's all. Done in my break after dinner.

The story about this non-match is still very much incomplete, and one starting point to tell it or to begin research could be the time after Morphy's return from Europe, when he rejected to play Paulsen in a match on equal terms. I have some fragments in my memory, but it would be serious work to fill them with substance. There is a (response) letter from Morphy to Kolisch, I'm sure, where he agrees to a match to be played in Europe sometime in the future, but without any stake. Most probably, you will find the details already in some Morphy biography.

Apr-18-14  zanzibar: <thomastonk> Just to compare notes for a second.

I think the old-fashioned way is useful - especially since it maps well into the creator's organizational bents (ie tendencies).

I did try to find the Birmingham Daily Post online, but arrived here instead:

The url part "blcsGoAway" telling me to go away is rather humorous.

* * * *

RE: Morphy -- Kolisch Match

The articles you quote aren't in contradiction with the one I quoted really. The editor of LIN is reporting hearsay, otherwise it wouldn't need qualifying ("We believe"). CM then just entertains the speculation.

Having Morphy as co-editor doesn't mean much in such speculation. It's likely he never saw it, but it would be nice to know the exact date of publication. There was much political unrest at the time, and Morphy was practicing law or traveling largely.

The BDP article is believable as well, as Kolisch was emerging as one of the best, if not, the best, player of the time. The article never says a letter was delivered to Morphy with the challenge. In fact, Kolisch seemed more interested in using this challenge to engage and introduce himself to the club, as the last paragraph shows. More investigation is needed (as always).

What is also in need of investigation is this reference in the NYH article I cited:

<Kolisch never challenged Morphy, nor even proposed to play a match with him, and the story regarding the challenge, as explained by Kolisch himself [...]>

Now, does the "explained by Kolisch himself" apply to the entire content of the sentence, or just to the end of the sentence (the [...] describing the letters exchanged)?

Since it is from Kolisch himself, it would be nice to know if there is a definitive source.

Apr-18-14  zanzibar: <From the 1889-09-29 NYH (New York Herald):>

Another Kolisch favorite problem, an M2, from S. Loyd:

<It was an impromptu affair, composed at a dinner given just prior to the Paris tournament and a wager made no one could master it in under an hour>

(White to move)

click for larger view

(Hint for previous problem: "self-immobilization")

Apr-18-14  thomastonk: <zanzibar> Just now only a few remarks.

The arcticle in the NYH of 1889 isn't worthless, but its value concerns other questions, say, did Kolisch in his later life deny that he challenged Morphy, and, if so, why? So, I'm not going to discuss this article in detail, when I talk about what happened in the 1860s (primary/secondary source - a principle I always respect).

The 1860s are very well documented and easily accessible. Links to online journals can be found for example here: You can extent your search to newspapers at chessarch or somewhere else. Of course, a good Morphy biography can be of great help, too.

Morphy's response to Kolisch's challenge can be found in the "Chess Player's Chronicle" of 1861, p 196.

Apr-18-14  zanzibar: To change the subject for a moment...

Kolisch achieved his early success at chess, but later went on to fame and true fortune as a banker. His chess playing may have been responsible for that as well -

In <Habitues of the Cafe de la Regence> (Winter - "Chess Facts and Fables", p220 pbk):

<The late Baron Kolisch may be said to have risen to rank and fortune over the chessboards of the Cafe de la Regence, where he made his first appearance in the '60s and for a long time was content to delve among the <mazettes> at half a franc a game. He was a jovial and amusing companion, and had the good luck to make a friend of a stockbroker fond of chess who gave Kolisch an opening as a <coulissier>, or commission agent at the Paris Bourse. Here his business talents attracted the attention of the Rothschilds, and his futrue career was assured.">

(CN 3368 - an extract of James Moritimer's reminiscences on p173-178 of May 1905 BCM).

Apr-19-14  thomastonk: <zanzibar: To change the subject for a moment... >

Feels like the same subject to me. You found a source and drew already a conclusion, but I cannot see any verification.

Academical historians use many categories of sources to avoid mistakes. Here is an example from chess history that illustrates the dangers of family sources:

The NYH article belongs to those sources, which German historians call 'ex post' (I don't know, if this term is used in English, too), like many obituaries. James Mortimer's reminiscences are written decades later, too, and they seem to be quite anecdotical.

You are an energetic and well motivated person. Please use some time to learn the basics of historial work. Otherwise you are in danger to become a successful <source plunderer>.

Apr-19-14  zanzibar: <thomastonk> As Winter would write "We have read your comment with interest..."

I'm a little confused about your cautions. Not the last one so much, as I haven't researched it, but your first advisement.

I've read it before, but any excuse for a re-reading is a good excuse. However, consider the imperative at the end:

"The conclusion I would like to present to chess biographers is this: <Do not limit the range of research to old chess columns and chess periodicals>. We have to look for confirmation of the “facts” in non-chess related literature and in the record offices, or archives, of schools, universities, churches, cemeteries and hospitals."

An obituary in a general circulation newpaper, such as the New York Herald, is not a chess periodical, nor exactly a chess column. As a non-professional, I certainly will never have access to the other records referred to.

<Feels like the same subject to me. You found a source and drew already a conclusion, but I cannot see any verification.>

What exactly you are referring to here isn't exactly clear to me. I posted two quotes, one from Winter the other from the NY Herald, so some further specification would be helpful. And it's inconclusive which conclusion is being called into question.

I'm a little on a defensive footing without knowing what exactly is in need of defending.

But I know that you were observing Lent, let's rejoin the discussion next week. I have an hypothesis of events which seems to fit all the known record (ie known to me). It would be interesting to have you critique it.

Let me close by wishing you a Joyeuses Pâques (as we used to say in Genève)

Apr-21-14  zanzibar: <thomastonk> you provided me with a reference article, and I'll do the same for you.

The essence is contained here:

It's Winter's treatment of the infamous Steinitz-Blackburne "dust-up".

(I should look up the German word for "dust-up"... not there, but "fight" is = kampfen, fechten, sich schlagen)

Winter shows how the story can become distorted in contemporary (i.e. modern) retelling.

But even more critical is the fact that the story may be confused from its very inception. The point is that even the contemporaneous sources can be in conflict, and contain truths and almost truths, even if retold by the very participants who are the only people who can recount the story, but who find it next to impossible to recount unbiasedly, even if given time to gain some distance and perspective on the event of interest.

With Kolisch we may have some parallels in both the telling and retelling of his challenge to Morphy.

OK then, here are the auxiliary links to fill out Winter's treatment:

<CN 6437>

<CN 6440>

May-19-14  zanzibar: <thomastonk> (and others)

Maybe batgirl has been following our discussion here? She cites the <Daily Alta> article I ref'ed above:

Aug-24-14  ColeTrane: makew ah shrei kalishei = kolish exists in the hereNow
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Kolisch died in Vienna after a short, but agonizing illness. The illness is called <Wassersucht> (dropsy).

Kolisch had changed his profession some times, before he rose from destitute beginnings to distinguished riches. The highlight of his chess career was the win of the Napoleon prize at Paris (1867). In later years, Kolisch became a banker and estate owner. He acquired the <Freiherrntitel> (Baron) in Sachsen-Meiningen. He bought land on the Kahlenberg and arranged beautiful parties in the gloriously renovated, former Villa Felix. He was an honorary member of the Vienna Chess Society. For a long time its vice-president, then for two years its president, and then committee member. He was also a publisher, first with the fiscal 'Grüne Blätter', which crashed fast. Later, he became the publisher of the 'Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung', ruining his health and after a financial loss of almost half a million, he put it aside (maybe he stopped publishing it) on 21 October 1888. His widow and his brother, the well-known paediatrician Dr. Emanuel Kolisch, mourn his death.

Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 26 May 1889, issue 21, pp. 179-180

Nov-04-14  zanzibar: I wasn't aware that Kolisch encountered such difficulties in his last years.

Curious about the exact nature of the publication that "ruin[ed] his health", I found this:

<The Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) was published from 1 March 1880 to 11 February 1934 to the Vienna daily liberal direction. It was founded by Theodor Hertzka that led to 1886 as editor, as long Editors acted inter alia 1899-1909 Julius Szeps and from 1927 to 1934, the Social Democrat Paul German . For the WAZ wrote inter alia Jakob Julius David , Milan Dubrovic , the screenwriter Paul Frank , Géza Herczeg , Robert Hirschfeld , Max Kalbeck , Ignaz von Kolisch , Carl Lafite , Emil Marriot , Alfred Polgar , Richard Specht , Elizabeth Thury , Berta Zuckerkandl and music critic Gustav Doempke . Hugo von Hofmannsthal published in the daily early poetry, for example, in the issue of December 25, 1896 the love poem "The Two". [1]

As an additional title was initially "Six-clock-sheet", later "Late Evening Journal" out. The publication changed. To 20 December 1888, the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung appeared as a morning paper, midday leaf and six o'clock evening sheet, then in the evening on weekdays. Throughout its existence, the newspaper changed hands several times the size. Appeared originally in the format 41 x 26.4 cm, so 28 cm was changed from 1915 to 41 x.

In the wake of the uprising in February 1934, the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung had to cease publication. >

A few later years of the publication (post-Kolisch) may be available here:

also see

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